On June 14, 2014, author Jason Irby hosted the Awareness, Wellness, and Choices Fair at Laman Library – Argenta District. The fair was to promote his newly released book Love Within Life: So You Want To Stop Violence and to encourage our youth to face life’s “hard choices” by making wise decisions.
Irby requested that the sports leagues and sports entertainment organizations join the effort and cease the use of Hip-Hop music containing inappropriate messages. These messages promote getting high, getting wild, and getting wasted and are used in bumper music, promotional media, playlists, and cross promotions.
Irby was joined at the fair by community leaders and organizations. Presentations were made pertaining to the well-being of today’s youth and surrounding communities.
Among the community leaders who joined Irby was nationally recognized community role model, North Little Rock Police Officer Tommy Norman.
Officer Norman spoke to the group about making choices to avert crime and violence, and providing youth with alternatives.
Pam Sell of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) informed the group that intoxication was not a youth problem but an adult problem. Adults have the opportunity to positively influence youth.
North Little Rock Firemen Williams and Black informed the group that they usually see the end results of crime and violence as they are often called to make rescues.
Giselle Hudson of the Arkansas Health Department talked in depth about the importance of knowing risk associated with promiscuity and unprotected sex that often lead to life threatening medical situations that face our youth.
The Evans Family of Seconds Protectors informed the group about the responsibility to avoid distracted driving and practice safe driving.
The event was also supported by the Youth Accident Prevention Program (YAPP) of Pulaski County. YAPP was created to focus on safety issues and includes DWI, DUI, alcohol and club drug information, seatbelt safety, railroad safety, gun violence and conflict resolutions.
The Arkansas Veterans Affairs Nutrition and Dietary Department provided handouts and nutritional charts.